The deep fat fryer is not something that we would necessarily refer to as a kitchen essential nowadays, especially with so many people opting for healthier eating. Air fryers and other lower-fat alternatives have cannibalised the market for them somewhat, but there remains every chance that you’ll find one in the kitchens of anyone that appreciates the crispiest possible fried food.
While the results are always delicious, the location of a deep fat fryer in the home, along with the copious amounts of oil used, means that it doesn’t take long for the appliance to start looking less than its best. The fact that oil can often be reused also means that this isn’t something that you’ll necessarily clean after each use. When cleaning time does come around, it requires a bit of elbow grease. However, it doesn’t need to be difficult, as the upcoming 10 tips will demonstrate.
1. Get the Cleaning Essentials Together
There aren’t many individual items that warrant an entire feature at 10 Tips devoted solely to cleaning them. Therefore, you might well expect that we’re going to need more than just a microfibre cloth for this one. In some cases, you have to make the best of what you have. However, if you have the benefit of being able to head to the store before the next clean, add a few things to your shopping list to make your life easier.
Ideally, you’ll have some kind of kitchen cleaning detergent, something to put the used oil in, a scourer, spatula and some kitchen towels. Incidentally, you’ll throw out the oil receptacle, so don’t go spending too much on fancy tubs for this one!
2. Prepare Pre-Clean
You need to play it safe around electrical items for obvious reasons, and this is perhaps even more important in the kitchen. For a deep fat fryer specifically, you should ensure that it’s turned off and unplugged before you start to clean. If you’ve used it on the day, ensure that the oil has cooled completely and then wrap any sensitive electrical components like the plug to prevent them from getting wet.
3. Drain the Oil
We mentioned in the introduction that deep fat fryer oil is often reused, and you definitely don’t need to throw it out after each use. In the context of cleaning, it’s often easiest to wait until the oil must be replaced before you clean. However, if there’s still life in it and you haven’t noticed the colour change that indicates it’s all worn out, you can put it back into your fryer afterwards.
Either way, for the time being, the oil needs to be somewhere other than in the appliance. Drain it into your container of choice and set it aside for now, whether you plan to throw it out or put it back in.
4. Start the Clean with the Basket
The fryer’s basket spends most of its life submerged in oil and in contact with food, so it makes sense that it requires the most thorough clean. It’s also the trickiest part to address, so it’s often best to get it out of the way first. Remove it from the fryer then use hot water and your cleaning product, combined with some hard scrubbing with a scourer, to get it looking as good as new. Rinse it off and then place it on a drying rack – it should be ready to go back in when you’ve completed the other tips.
5. Get Rid of Leftover Food and Oil in the Fryer
There will still be a few oil spills and a bit of debris left over at this stage of the process, so they should be addressed first. Use the spatula for any ground-on waste and your kitchen towels for the removal of any excess oil that didn’t come out when the deep fat fryer was drained.
6. Use Soapy Water for the Deep Clean
You’ll need a bowl of warm water for the next tip, combined with your cleaning product of choice. The sink gets the job done, assuming you don’t have a massive kitchen that requires a lot of walking to get from one to the other. In those cases, use a bowl that you can move to the fryer for convenience. Use a sponge, cloth or anything else that makes sense and clean all surfaces.
7. Fill the Fryer with Water
As you’d expect from something that works by boiling oil, your fryer is comfortably waterproof. When you’ve finished wiping, it’s time to fill the fryer with hot water. Leave it as it is for around half an hour so that any remaining grime comes loose.
8. Clean the Filters
If the filters on your fryer are fixed in place, you’ll have to rely on the hot water to work its magic. If you can remove them, do so and submerge them separately in water for a few minutes. Wipe them down with your kitchen towels or sponge, and they should look as good as new in no time.
9. Empty Out the Water
At this point, 30 minutes have passed, and any leftover dirt in the fryer should come away when you empty out the water. Give the interior and exterior a last once over with a kitchen towel to remove any lingering stains.
10. Replace the Basket and Refill the Oil
Your basket will have tried off while the main unit was soaked, so it should be fine to drop back into the fryer at this point. You can give it another polish if you so choose but it’s not usually necessary. You can put the oil in now too, or wait until you next use the fryer. Either way, you should now have a deep fat fryer that looks and works as good as new!